Charnwood Narrow Boat Holiday Hire - the friendly family firm

Narrow boat holiday hire with Charnwood

Our Narrow Boat Holiday Hire Base

Narrow boat holiday hire with CharnwoodPillings Lock is a modern marina with the impressive Boat House restaurant and modern facilities. Close to the villages of Quorn and Barrow on Soar, it is only 10 minutes from Loughborough town centre and 30 minutes from East Midlands airport.
There are lots of things to see and do in the immediate area. Quorn is one of a number of picturesque villages in Charnwood Forest. It is close to Bradgate Park which contains the ruins of Bradgate House where Lady Jane Grey (Queen of England for 9 days) was born and Beacon Hill famous for its 700 million year old rock which is some of the oldest in England.

Quorn is also one of the main stations on the Great Central Railway. Voted number 12 on the list of the 50 greatest railway journeys in the world it is the UK's only double track, main line heritage railway. It’s the only place in the world where full size steam engines can be seen passing each other.

Choosing a Route

Narrow boat holiday hire with CharnwoodThere are lots of useful websites to help you plan the sort of route that will suit you.
www.waterscape.com and www.canaljunction.com are particularly useful.
Nicholson Waterways Guides (available on board for you to use) are invaluable.

The Soar is a tranquil river navigation. On Waterscape.com it is described as ‘a well-kept secret, meandering in peaceful isolation through delightful scenery’. The choice is yours: south via Foxton Locks towards the Grand Union north or south and the Oxford Canal or north through Trent Junction to either Nottingham, the Erewash Canal or the Trent and Mersey Canal towards Derbyshire. Here are a few suggestions:

2 weeks

East Midlands/Leicester Ring (70 hours 5-6 hours a day)
A varied route including narrow and broad canals, rivers, 5 tunnels and several aqueducts.
Leicester – National Space Centre/varied museums
Foxton Locks/King Richard 111 Visitor Centre
Narrow boat holiday hire with CharnwoodTamworth - Snowdome/Drayton Manor Park
Shardlow/ Burton on Trent/Coors Visitor Centre/Marstons Brewery
Loughborough – Great Central Railway, Bell Foundry Museum
+ detours to Coventry Cathedral & Nottingham/Tales of Robin Hood/Galleries of Justice/Castle

Midlands Ring (85 hours 6-7 hours a day)
A varied route of narrow and broad canals and rivers
Leicester – National Space Centre/varied museums
Foxton Locks/King Richard 111 Visitor Centre
Braunston
Warwick – Warwick Castle
Birmingham - Cadbury World/Sealife Centre/Gas Street Basin
Tamworth – Snowdome/Drayton Manor Park

Stoke on Trent and the Caldon Canal (there and back 85 hours 6-7 hours a day)
Stoke on Trent (there and back 65 hours 5 hours a day)
Wedgewood Visitor Centre & museum/Etruria Industrial Museum
Burton on Trent/Coors Visitor Centre/Marstons Brewery/Branston Water Park
Shardlow - canal village

One week- South

South through Leicester towards Foxton Locks on to Market Harborough and back (38 hours 6 hours a day)
Charnwood Forest Villages – Quorn/Barrow on Soar/Watermead Country Park
Leicester - National Space Centre/varied museums/King Richard 111 Visitor Centre
Foxton Locks – Inclined Plane Boat Lift and museum, you do not go through the locks.
Market Harborough Arm to Union Wharf site of the first IWA campaigning rally/old market town

South through Leicester to Foxton Locks/King Richard 111 Visitor Centre and on to the Welford Arm and back (45 hours 7 hours a day)
As above but proceeding down
Foxton Flight of locks/Husbands Bosworth Tunnel 1166 yards
Welford Arm – quiet and tree lined canal/Welford -village and nature reserve

South to the end of the Leicester section of the Grand Union canal at Norton Junction and back (56 hours - an energetic 9 hours a day!)
Charnwood Forest Villages – Quorn/Barrow on Soar/Watermead Country Park
Leicester- National Space Centre/varied museums/
Foxton Locks – Inclined Plane Boat Lift /Crick Tunnel 1528 yards/Watford Locks

Narrow boat holiday hire with CharnwoodOne Week - North

From Trent Junction (6 hours) there is a choice of three directions:
Nottingham - Tales of Robin Hood/Galleries of Justice
Erewash Canal to Langley Mill - Lock House Tearooms
Full of canal memorabilia, waterways tableau, lovely food
Trent and Mersey Canal out towards Derbyshire – beautiful countryside

Trent Junction and Trent and Mersey Canal to Fradley Junction and back (38 hours 6 hours a day)
Lovely countryside with many nature reserves and opportunities for walking and cycling
Burton on Trent/Coors Visitor Centre/Marstons Brewery/Branston Water Park/Shardlow
Fradley Junction attractive and busy junction with the Coventry Canal. Famous canal pub.

Trent Junction and Trent and Mersey Canal to Burton on Trent and back (28 hours 4 hours a day)
Lovely countryside with many nature reserves and opportunities for walking and cycling
Burton on Trent /Coors Visitor Centre/Marstons Brewery
Shardlow

Trent Junction, East to Nottingham and then West to Burton on Trent and back (36 hours 6 hours a day)

Trent Junction and all three directions Nottingham/Erewash Canal/Burton on Trent and back (50 hours 8 hours a day)

Short breaks North

North through Loughborough and the pretty villages of Zouch and Normanton to Kegworth and Trent Junction. From Trent Junction there is a choice of three directions: Nottingham – Erewash Canal to Langley Mill – Trent and Mersey Canal out towards Derbyshire

To Nottingham (6 hours  to Trent Junction + 4. 5 hours to Nottingham 21 hours there and back)
Tales of Robin Hood/Galleries of Justice/Caves of Nottingham/Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery/Brewhouse Yard

Erewash Canal (6 hrs to Trent Junction + 7 hours to Langley Mill 26 hours there and back)
Trent Lock - Lock House Tearooms full of canal memorabilia, lovely food. D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum is situated in Eastwood ,close to Langley Mill

Trent and Mersey Canal to Shardlow (6 hours to Trent Junction + 1. 5 hours to Shardlow 15 hours there and back)
Shardlow is ‘one of the most interesting inland canal ports on the whole inland waterway network’ Heritage centre, canal architecture, pretty, nice pubs.

Short breaks South

Narrow boat holiday hire with CharnwoodTo Leicester (12 hours there and back)
South through lush water meadows and peaceful rural scenery towards Leicester and its rich cultural and industrial heritage.
Mountsorrel – extensive moorings and lockside pub + Stonehurst Family Farm
Watermead Country Park 140 hectares of 12 lakes and small ponds ideal for walking/cycling/fishing/more active watersports
Birstall – peaceful moorings and riverside pubs
Leicester – a great variety of interesting things to see and do including the National Space Centre, King Richard 111 Visitor Centre, New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Jewry Wall Museum, Guru Nanak Gurdwara and Sikh Museum. There is also a fantastic market selling produce from all over the world.

Leaving Leicester it is then possible to proceed further through remote countryside for as long as you want depending on how much time you intend to spend cruising. Possible places to aim for include:
Wigston – Framework knitters museum (20 hours there and back)
Kilby Bridge – Wistan le Dale Model Village/craft shops/teas and coffees (22 hours there and back)
Newton Harcourt/Brocks Hill Country Park and environment Centre (26 hours there and back)
Saddington Tunnel 880 yards (32 hours there and back).

All timings are approximate and will vary according to conditions and the number of other boats using the locks.

Charnwood Boat Hire 56 Stanton Lane Stanton on the Wolds Nottingham NG12 5BG
 
Narrowboat Holiday Hire with Charnwood Narrowboat Holiday Hire with Charnwood